Epilogue

Two weeks later, Ziva and Gibbs were sick and tired of working cold cases while Tony was tired of climbing his apartment walls enough that he'd spent a lot of his time keeping Tim company for over four hours a day since the visitation restrictions were lifted ten days ago.

Tim, meanwhile, had promised his sister that he would be the model patient and not complain even once and had kept his promise diligently. Now here he was two weeks later and Ducky was once again signing Tim's release papers and preparing to sign the young man out and into his care. This time, however, Tim was able to breathe without feeling like his chest was on fire and he wasn't scared about his death being as close as the next time he fell asleep.

While it had been a hard won battle to get Tim to stop fearing that extreme happenstance, it remained a closely guarded secret between Tim, Gibbs and Tony. Though there had been precious few conversation about it, Gibbs had been quick to pick up on the fact that Tim was still struggling with the fear and Tony had become quite in tune with Tim's need for his big brother's sympathetic ear as he worked on recovering.

Before he could contemplate things further, Ducky returned to the room with Tim's paperwork intact. "Here we are, Timothy. All set."

"Thanks, Ducky."

"No thanks needed, dear boy. However, I feel the need to reiterate the expectations both Jethro and I have of you."

"I remember, Ducky. Gibbs' words are still ringing in my head."

"Don't you ever pull an idiotic stunt like that again!"

"I won't, Boss."

"I gave you strict instructions to ask for help when you needed it.

Also warned you what would happen if ya didn't."

"I know, Boss."

"Under no circumstances are you allowed to put your self ar risk like that just so your teammate can sleep!" Gibbs told him sternly.

"Won't happen again, Boss."

"I know." The Team Leader admitted calmly.

"Earth to Timothy!" Ducky called out to regain the young man's attention.

Recalled back to the present, Tim blinked. "Sorry, Ducky."

"No worries, dear boy. Obviously you have a lot on your mind."

"Just remembering what Gibbs said when he was finally allowed to visit me."

"Ah, yes that was quite a tongue lashing, wasn't it?"

"Yeah."

"Jethro means well."

"I know."

***NCIS***

Ducky smiled as he pulled into his driveway, glancing over at his sleeping passenger. The poor boy still tired easy and would need to be pestered into taking it easy. With help from his team, the young man would be able to recover fully and know without a doubt that his team supported him completely.

Before the car was even turned off, Ducky's front door opened and the team poured out of the house to help with getting Tim out of the car and into the house. Gibbs exchanged glances with the M.E. as the two of them watched the younger generation coax their injured teammate to wake up and let them help him into the house, step by patiently slow step. The chair no longer necessary since Tim was strong enough to walk under his own cautious steam.

It wasn't long before the entire crew was ensconced in Ducky's spare bedroom, with Tony, Ziva, Abby and Jimmy all sprawled out around Tim haphazardly, the chosen movie of the night already starting up as Ducky arrived in the room with enough popcorn for all.

"Now, this is how movie nights are supposed to be!" Tony cackled as he looked around at his teammates. "We should do this more often."

"Looks like family night to me." Tim offered with a grateful smile.

Abby was quick to add her happiness to the mix. "That's what we are Timmy - a family!"

Tim smiled. "We are, aren't we?"

~~FINIS~~